Fire Suppression for Tunnels: Promoting Safety with Reacton

Paul Smith
November 29, 2023

In its report titled, “Tunnel Construction in the UK - Market Size, Industry Analysis, Trends and Forecasts (2023-2028)”, IBISWorld states that, “over the five years through 2023-24, the tunnel construction industry is expected to expand at a compound annual rate of 3.3% to just over £1 billion” in the UK. * 

Tunnels are an essential component of modern infrastructure around the world. They are essential in providing effective transportation routes for passenger travel, telecommunications, water supply and sewerage networks. However, due to the very fact that tunnelling projects are underground, their construction can pose many challenges.

The British Standards Institution (BSI) published the British Standard (BS) 6164:2019 in 2019 with instructions on how to maintain safety in tunnel building projects, in terms of health and safety in tunnelling for the construction industry.

Designing and constructing tunnels, whether in the UK or elsewhere in the world where there are more requirements due to local topography, is a complex task when it comes to engineering and logistics challenges, all taking place in a constrained space, and effecting essential measures to protect tunnelling sites against safety hazards. 

Risks & Potential Hazards

One of the main hazards in tunnelling projects is the potential risk of fires from combustion vehicles, combined with a confined space.

In the event of a fire, and due to the limited space, it would be quite challenging for employees to escape from both the effects of the fire and the suffocating smoke.

The challenges of fire suppression in tunnel construction are specifically covered in BS 6164:2019. A fire is more likely to occur when there are vehicles, as the heat from their engines, the fuel, and the oxygen present make the risk of fire ignition even higher. All it takes to ignite a fire is a leak, an accumulation of flammable environmental debris, or an electrical issue with one of the vehicles.

It’s needless to say a fire at a tunnel construction site can have disastrous effects, leading to fatalities, considerable property damage, and severe disruption to regular work operations. In fact, more people die from smoke inhalation than from flames.

So, how can we prevent a catastrophe from happening while meeting industry standards? 

In order to address these challenges and efficiently limit such risks, Reacton presents its innovative fire suppression solutions, specially tailored for the types of machinery used in tunnel construction. Our state-of-the-art technology and unmatched knowledge of fire suppression systems & techniques will help you protect your property & assets, as well as your employees’ safety & well-being.

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Why Choose Reacton Fire Suppression Systems?

Reacton is a market-leading manufacturer of fire suppression solutions. We develop specialised systems that cater to the particular needs of vehicles and equipment used in tunnel-building projects. And, over the years, we have successfully customised and installed our fire suppression systems to protect numerous tunnel construction sites against fire hazards. 

With Reacton, tunnelling teams can work without being constantly concerned about the risks of accidental fuel leaks or electrical faults causing a fire in their construction site. 

Main features of Reacton fire suppression systems for tunnel construction vehicles:

  • 24/7 Fire Protection: Our systems are fully operational 24/7, 365 days a year, with no manual intervention or power required, so you can have complete peace of mind. 

  • Ultra-Fast Fire Detection and Quick Response: Time is of the essence during a fire emergency and our systems are engineered to provide a rapid response, deploying suppression agents within seconds of fire detection. 

  • 3-Year Warranty: We offer a market-leading, 3-year full parts & labour warranty as standard.

  • Full Accreditation: Our systems are third-party certified to P-Mark SPCR183, P-Mark SPCR199, AS-5062:2016, UAE.S 5041 (approval pending) and SASO 2946/2020 (approval pending). So you can rest assured you have the best-rated systems in the industry.

  • Additional Safety Features: Every eventuality is covered with in-cab monitoring, battery isolation, machine shutdown and manual actuators.

  • Cutting-Edge Suppression Technology: We employ state-of-the-art fire suppression technology, utilising advanced agents and innovative delivery mechanisms to swiftly control and extinguish fires. These systems are engineered to detect fires early, react quickly, and effectively suppress flames, minimising potential damage and maximising safety.

  • Sustainability and Environmental Responsibility: We are a company that is committed to environmental responsibility and offers eco-friendly fire suppression agents. These are non-toxic and leave no residue after activation, making them safe for tunnel users and minimising the ecological impact in the event of a fire.

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Reacton Dual Agent Configuration

Reacton® Automatic Fire Suppression Systems designed for vehicles feature a Dual Agent configuration, and the same applies to vehicles designed for/or involved in tunnel construction.

Dual Agent systems are an outstanding fire suppression method due to combining the individual features of Dry Powder & Wet Chemical into one extremely effective solution. Not only does the system provide the rapid flame knockdown of Dry Powder but the cooling & blanketing properties of Wet Chemical, prevent re-ignition.  

Reacton’s Dual Agent configuration also offers significant advantages to single-agent extinguishing mediums, as it can offer up to a 40% reduction in the automatic fire suppression system size.

Reacton: Your Trusted Safety Partner!

With Reacton Fire Suppression Systems, you can rest assured that your tunnel construction site is a safer environment for users and assets. Thanks to our cutting-edge technology and quick response time, all your combustion engine vehicles used in tunnelling projects can be protected against fire.


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Protecting your future, Today

For more information on Reacton Fire Suppression products, please get in touch with the team by emailing or call us on + 44 (0)800 0306526.



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